#39 | Why do we allow fundraising to interfere with our commitment to community?

My recent podcast conversation with Jennifer Cherney left me wondering why so many nonprofit organizations have allowed fundraising to interfere with our commitment to community. Referring to the independent school world that the two of us are very familiar with, were it not for the galas and golf tournaments that so many schools organize every year, most in these communities would be without a way to maintain meaningful connections with the people they care about.

How many of us have considered that the real reason why special events persist, regardless of their value in terms of raising money, is because events hold a community together. Is it all that hard to imagine that we might create stronger communities and raise more money if we didn’t feel the need to do them both at the same time?

While I left our conversation in search of the deeper meaning behind special events, Jennifer left pondering the underlying contribution that an individual’s faith tradition might have in response to our fundraising efforts. Whereas events might benefit from being detached from fundraising, it’s sometimes hard to uncover the values of generosity and charity in a community that deliberately detaches itself from faith and religion.


Jason Lewis